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  1. #1
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    at what point is a ski vest inadequate?

    New to the whole fast boats thing and want to be safe. I was curious at what speed do most recreational boaters make the switch to a lifeline or comparable. I know some people will say "at any speed" which is true, but not necessarily required. Kind of like "all cars would be safer with a full 10 pt roll cage" which is true, but not really necessary until running 9.99.

    FWIW my boat runs upper 70s now and will hopefully be mid 80s soon.

    Thanks!!
    1986 Laser 380 comp- being re-done... slowly...
    http://www.screamandfly.com/showthre...23#post2859423
    1997 Hewes Bayfisher 16- 90 yammie
    1982 Laser 380- 200 merc- SOLD

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't consider a ski vest safe in your boat now. If I had to pick a number, I'd say 60 mph is about the limit.

    It's not just that it will stay on. Competition vests provide impact protection, people are rarely just tossed out, you tend to rattle around inside a little first. Even if you don't impact the boat, that first bounce off the water at 75 mph is definetly an attention getter. The single biggest argument for a comp vest is, after you come to a stop in the water, your probably not having your best day, and it will rotate you upright while your brain is trying to catch up with what happened(if your brain is doing much of anything at that point, you might just be takin a little nap)

    Don't go by any of that impact rating stuff on ski vests, most of those ratings were removed, because they were just an arbitrary figure somebody pulled out of thier head.



  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by transomstand View Post
    I wouldn't consider a ski vest safe in your boat now. If I had to pick a number, I'd say 60 mph is about the limit.

    It's not just that it will stay on. Competition vests provide impact protection, people are rarely just tossed out, you tend to rattle around inside a little first. Even if you don't impact the boat, that first bounce off the water at 75 mph is definetly an attention getter. The single biggest argument for a comp vest is, after you come to a stop in the water, your probably not having your best day, and it will rotate you upright while your brain is trying to catch up with what happened(if your brain is doing much of anything at that point, you might just be takin a little nap)

    Don't go by any of that impact rating stuff on ski vests, most of those ratings were removed, because they were just an arbitrary figure somebody pulled out of thier head.
    exactly the kind of info I was looking for!!! Thanks!!

    anyone else have an opinion on this matter?
    1986 Laser 380 comp- being re-done... slowly...
    http://www.screamandfly.com/showthre...23#post2859423
    1997 Hewes Bayfisher 16- 90 yammie
    1982 Laser 380- 200 merc- SOLD

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawk232 View Post
    exactly the kind of info I was looking for!!! Thanks!!

    anyone else have an opinion on this matter?
    I'm in the same boat as you. I have a 90 mph boat and currently only have a ski vest. I've been looking for an alternative for $300+ jacket, but there isn't one. Anything else either doesn't have leg straps, or doesn't have the impact protection.
    '86 Valero YT, 2.5 200

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawk232 View Post
    FWIW my boat runs upper 70s now and will hopefully be mid 80s soon.

    Thanks!!
    I would have to say that the #160 high-performance jacket would be a minimum for me if I were running your boat. These can be had quite often for under $300 straight from Lifeline since they have given deals to S&F members on more than one occasion. The #170 comp vest is $100-150 more but includes a certification and a higher level of impact-resistant material throughout.

    I bought a 160 for $280 last fall (and will be buying another this year)and its actually more comfy than I thought it would be....and considering its purpose, it is money well spent in my mind
    1976 Hydrostream Viper - 2.5 EFI
    Resto Thread Here
    2010 Go-Pro Stuff

    "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." -G. K. Chesterton


  6. #6
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    Always remember any vest is better than none and you have to put it on for it to work,not just carry it in the boat.

  7. #7
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    I'd say go ahead, and get one. Back to cars with cages, if you wreck a 10.0 car, and you live through it in one piece, unless you're very very unlucky, usually you don't end up face down in water. Thats what worrries me. Right now my boat(when it runs) is mid 80s, and will go low 90s soon, I got the Lifeline 170. I like the idea of being alive to complain about how much good jackets cost much better than the alternative.

  8. #8
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    There are a couple decent vests out there that are better than a ski vest but not as good as a Lifeline. They have a small collar and leg straps. Zippered and buckled. They sell for around $100. Got em in my fishin boat.
    Rock
    Team Junk

    No sparkling wiggles in here, only dump truck grinches.

    "Screamin Heathen"

  9. #9
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    West marine sells some "SAR" vests (search and rescue) Bright orange with crotch straps and a collar. No thicker than a ski vest, but a little added protection for about $100. Nothing is better than a race vest though.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Scream And Fly View Post
    This is seriously one of the best threads on this site ever.

    PhotoBucket Sucks!

  10. #10
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    Ski Vest for skiing. Lifeline for go fast boating!

  11. #11
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    my lifeline is not uncomfortable, no real excuse not to wear it... if your gonna cry about paying 4-500 for a vest that could save your life you need to think about another hobby

    Quartershot T-3R 15" 3.5L E-Tec 1.62 Sportmaster


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by baja200merk View Post
    my lifeline is not uncomfortable, no real excuse not to wear it... if your gonna cry about paying 4-500 for a vest that could save your life you need to think about another hobby

    well put , i agree, most of us wont hesitate to blow another grand for a speed product but hedge on the safety gear, ask the question, whats your life worth. lost a dear friend last year didnt have a vest on at all.

  13. #13
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    max for ski vest is really only about 50 mph.. i tore one up pretty good falling off a tube at about 45 mph... and it was brand new... kept me a float tho even tho it was torn.. but it went in the trash at the end of the day.. i got away with a ski vest in my boat... but i wouldnt reccomend it. i have a mustang survival jacket for next go around.. thats tested at 100 mph and looks similar to a lifeline but a tad cheeper.if only because i get mustang at a greater discount over lifeline

    4-16-2014. 25 years old today... the fishin boat doesnt look to bad for a classic does she


    things that were are no longer as they are today...

  14. #14
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    I've taken a 'swim' at 90+ with my lifeline, and I will NEVER wear a ski vest on a High performance boat. Its not worth it. Spend the extra $$ and live to talk about it.

    -Scott
    "If everything's under control, you're going too slow"
    -Mario Andretti-

    76 vixen,.. on the back burner
    82 laser comp. 380 ray

    PICS OF THE VIXEN REBUILD

  15. #15
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    IF your asking the question... It's that little voice inside your head tellin you to get on the ball and get a better life jacket. Listen to it !
    God, Country, and Fast Boats
    SPECIAL BOAT TEAM 12/ HSB'S SOC NSWU-1

    _____________________________________________

    Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. And when your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that they weep and pray for more time that they may live there life over in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a Hero going home.

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